Fold mountains

A preview of the NRL round six action | Blue Mountains Gazette

MAN OF THE SLEEVE: There has been talk of Damien Cook’s Origin and Test riders being threatened by Api Koroisau and Harry Grant. But, against Canterbury, Cook showed why he is still regarded as one of the game’s elite hookers. He notched a first career hat-trick and was a constant threat in South Sydney’s big win.

TOUR QUOTE: ‘I love that he takes opportunities, seizes moments and isn’t shy’ – Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson on five-eighth Sam Walker, 19, who was instrumental in their 22-14 defeat of the Warriors, scoring five goals and scoring a try.

STAT THAT COUNTS: The Wests Tigers’ 21-20 win over Parramatta was their first against the Eels since 2018. The result, which was their first win of the campaign, was their first under Michael Maguire in 247 days. Relief.

MAGIC MOMENT: Game-winning goal by Jackson Hastings for the Wests Tigers in their one-point victory over Parramatta. As the clock neared the golden point, Hastings took the game by the scruff of the neck and netted a field goal from 38 yards to seal a drought-breaking Tigers win.

TALKING POINT: Another defeat at Newcastle and another flurry of speculation over Kalyn Ponga’s future. A story that the Knights withdrew their contract offer made the rounds as they lost to St George Illawarra and only added fuel to the fire. For the sake of the Knights’ season, coach Adam O’Brien needs to pray that his running back makes a decision sooner rather than later.

INJURY AREA: Raiders – Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (leg), Xavier Savage (shoulder); Bulldogs – Chris Patolo (concussion), Josh Jackson (concussion), Braidon Burns (hamstring); Broncos – Tesi Niu (hamstring); Sea Eagles – Josh Aloiai (shoulder), Sean Keppie (concussion), Tolutau Koula (concussion); Sharks – Dale Finucane (concussion), Braden Hamlin-Uele (wrist); Storm – Ryan Papenhuyzen (ankle); Tigers – Jake Simpkin (ankle), Ken Maumalo (knee), Eels – Reagan Campbell-Gillard (ankle), Tom Opacic (neck).

FORENSIC OVERSIGHT: Bulldogs – Brandon Wakeham (grinding tackle); Panthers – Nathan Cleary (dangerous contact); Broncos – Kobe Hetherington (opposite conduct); Storm – Felise Kaufusi (dangerous contact); Dragons – Zac Lomax (contrary driving), Francis Molo (reckless high tackle); Tigers – Kelma Tuilagi (late touch).

UNDER PRESSURE: Canberra manager Ricky Stuart put a rocket to his side after throwing away a 12-point lead to lose to North Queensland on Thursday. The Raiders are missing their first-choice hooker and halfback, but there’s no excuse for their continued ability to fold like a cheap suit when they have a lead. They’ve blown seven double-digit leads since the start of 2020 and Stuart has warned of changes in a team that has just two wins to start the season.

Australian Associated Press